The Southwest Colorado tour assembles in Durango and we’ll ride westward early morning of Day 2 to Mesa Verde National Park. We’ll spend the remainder of that first day and the morning of Day 3 exploring the Ancestral Puebloan ruins of Mesa Verde. We’ll van shuttle from the park mid-day of Day 3, and it’s back on our bikes to Dolores and an overnight in Dolores. Along the way, we’ll visit the fascinating Anasazi Heritage Center north of Cortez. We’re headed into the heart of the San Juans early-morning of Day 4. We’ll tour the old mining towns of Stoner and Rico and then begin a moderate ascent up Lizard Head Pass (10,222′) on our way to the magical mountain paradise that is Telluride. Take a gondola ride up the ski hill, enjoy a nearby hike or mountain bike ride, explore the shops or just stroll the Victorian streets, visiting art galleries and sampling ice cream on your day off.
Leaving Telluride, we’ll ride along the San Miguel River on Day 6, then climb the Dallas Divide and ride on to charming Ouray. We’re up and out early Day 7 as we challenge imposing Red Mountain Pass (11,008′) in the context of one of North America’s classic alpine experiences. From Red Mountain’s summit, it’s downhill cycling to the quaint 19th-century mining camp of Silverton and our final evening at the historic Wyman Hotel, a restored Victorian masterpiece. Our final day includes ascents of Molas and Coal Bank Passes and a long downhill for our return to Durango and the conclusion of our Southwest San Juan Colorado bicycling adventure.